By Gloria Abutu
As Ash Wednesday is commemorated the world over, Christians have been admonished to turn to God to gain redemption for their souls.
The parish priest, Saint Augustine’s Catholic Church, Bekaji, Reverend Father John Iyekowa made the call while speaking with Radio Nigeria in Yola, the Adamawa state capital.
Reverend Father John Iyekowa explained that Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Lenten season where Christians prepare themselves for the celebration of Easter.
He stressed the need for the Christian faithful to draw closer to God through constant prayers, fasting, and almsgiving, and to turn away from every form of sin to receive His mercies.
“Ash Wednesday is the beginning of lent, it begins that forty days of journey with Jesus Christ within which we are expected to draw closer to God.
We receive Ash this day which makes us aware that we are nothing because what gives us essence in life is the spirit of God in us”.
The cleric while speaking on the importance of peaceful coexistence, urged people to shun violence and embrace peace to make the world a better place.
He also called for an end to hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.
“We are expected to turn away from sin and embrace the life of helping one another, staying away from violence.
I pray that even during this war between Ukraine and Russia, they will be able to turn away from violence. War does not pay, no matter how cheap the price of war is, the price of peace is far cheaper, so let us embrace peace”.
Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the penitential Lenten season, is observed annually as a solemn reminder of human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God.